On November 22, we convened our final EU-InnovatE conference, which brought together various stakeholders to define the most effective pathways to bring user innovation and sustainable entrepreneurship from the margins to the mainstream.
Harnessing the expertise of 14 leading academic, think tanks, and network partners, EU-InnovatE has spent the past 3 years generating scientific evidence and analysis to test the prospects and obstacles for achieving sustainable living in Europe by the year 2050.
Download the Official Programme.
THIS WAS OUR EU-INNOVATE FINAL CONFERENCE
The day was kicked off by a brief introduction to the project by Prof. Frank-Martin Belz – TUM School of Management and Simon Pickard – ABIS, showcasing headline findings, evidence and analysis from the project with perspectives and stories from participating companies.
Afterwards, our delegates were part of a broader networking session, in which each participant identified his or her main personal learning and action goals for the conference and was asked to share those with others having similar aspirations.
THE SUSTAINABLE ENTREPRENEUR PERSPECTIVE
Just before lunch, the audience had the chance to listen to a great set of corporate plenary speakers consisting of Jakob Assmann – Co-Founder of Polarstern, Tobias Lau – Co-founder of Social Action and Beyond Coffee, Marcello Palazzi – Co-Founder of B Corp / B Lab Europe and Amr Dawood – Co-Founder of Wassel.io and ENACTUS, which shared their challenges but also opportunities of what it means to be a sustainable entrepreneur.
Following our networking lunch, Madi Sharma – Member of the European Economic & Social Committee and Founder of the Madi Group gave the audience great inspiration for becoming actively engaged by sharing insights about her own journey as a sustainable entrepreneur. She made clear that it does not necessarily require specific qualifications to become active in this exciting and diverse field.
POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS TO ENHANCE SUSTAINABLE ENTREPRENEURSHIP
The session afterwards, hosted by the Copenhagen Business School and Cranfield School of Management team, focussed on how to create more favourable conditions for the success of sustainable entrepreneurship through EU policy changes. These changes should include a prioritisation on the types of innovations which have the greatest positive sustainable impact, done through modelling which considers the interconnectedness within the system (e.g. food and energy), whilst also simulating individual household behaviours in different geographical and/or policy contexts.
Towards the end of the conference, participants went back to the visioning exercise from the morning and convened into small groups to anticipate a range of solutions that could transform current practice within the different areas of the Sustainable Entrepreneur Life Cycle. In the following open session, every group presented their ideas that could enhance the development of sustainable entrepreneurship.
Building on these insights, Basudeb Chaudhuri – Seconded National Expert of DG Research & Innovation, European Commission, Laurent Bontoux – Senior Policy Analyst of JRC, Marcello Palazzi and Madi Sharma responded in a final plenary to the feasibility and materiality of new ideas for upscaling and innovation in sustainable entrepreneurship and citizen innovation.
On a final note, we would like to thank all participants that contributed to a very memorable final conference of this EU project that is now about to end this year.